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How Do Gambling Laws in Brazil Compare to North America?

Credit: Pixabay/sergeitokmakov

Interestingly, Brazil is often referred to as a 'sleeping giant' This is because it is viewed as having a lot of technological and economic potential that remains untapped in a lot of different senses. One of the ways that this could be reflected is in its attitude towards gambling, specifically online gambling.

Brazil’s Gambling History

In the past, around the 1920s and 30s, Brazil had a thriving casino industry. The rise attracted a lot of different people, and luxurious casinos were built in order to cater to tourists who came to visit. That being said, Brazil is also a religious country, and as such, gambling and the building of casinos were banned back in 1946. There were exceptions to this, as poker remained legal, given it was viewed as a game of skill rather than a game of chance. Also, Bingo remained legal due to a technicality but was eventually outlawed back in 2004.

Attitudes Towards Online Gambling

When the law was created back in the 40s, there was obviously no explicit mention towards online gambling in the legislation. That being said, the blanket ban on gambling was clearly supposed to apply to online means of gambling as well. There are a lot of apps that operate within a grey area which makes it so that people in Brazil can play online gambling games as there can be relationships developed between international actors and Brazilian law.

A Shift in Attitudes

This grey area may not even be necessary in the future as there seems to be a shift in the attitude towards gambling taking place in Brazil. Back in 2018, sports betting was made legal, and as such, regulations are started to be implemented, which will make it so that gambling online will become a lot more straightforward and accessible for people. This will open up new lines of revenue for tech companies within Brazil, plus it will make it so the public can get better access to various gambling games right from the comfort of their own home.

How Do These Laws Compare to The US and Canada?

The changing attitude towards gambling in Brazil is going to make it so that the country operates in a way that is a bit more similar to the US and Canada. Currently in the US, gambling is legal under federal law; however, each state has a different attitude toward online gambling. That being said, similar to Brazil, shifting attitudes are making it so that more and more states are becoming keen on allowing online gambling. Similarly, in Canada the only way gambling is legal is if the website or venue in question is being regulated by a province. Gambling apps are regulated by the local law to make sure all games available are being operated properly.

What Will Happen in Brazil?

It is still unclear whether gambling will be made entirely legal in Brazil, although there is certainly a shift towards lenience taking place. As such, it is likely we are going to see plenty of websites and some physical establishments become legal before too long.  

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